Blood and Sand Recipe

Scotch, orange, and sweet vermouth: An unlikely-sounding trio that come together flawlessly.

Edsel Little on Flickr

Unlike the unwritten rule about wearing white, there's no stipulation that you must pack away your white liquor after Labor Day. But after the unofficial end of summer, it's entirely appropriate to start breaking out the brown spirits of fall and winter.

Scotch whiskey is a notoriously difficult ingredient to mix in a cocktail. Here's a drink that uses it to great effect: the Blood and Sand. The earliest printed recipe I've found for this drink was in the Savoy Cocktail Book, from 1930, and it likely takes its name from the popular 1922 silent film starring Rudolph Valentino as an ill-fated matador. With an unlikely cast of ingredients, the Blood and Sand rises above the chaos and helps set the stage for the approach of more robust-flavored drinks for the cooler months.

Adapted from Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh.

Recipe Facts

Active: 3 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serves: 1 serving

Rate & Comment


  • 1 ounce blended Scotch (Famous Grouse is a good brand to use)
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce Cherry Heering (no, not "herring," and yes, the brand matters)


  1. Pour all of ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, and shake well for 10 seconds; strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry.

Special equipment

Cocktail shaker, cocktail strainer

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